World Golf Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez was awarded the 2012 Byron Nelson Prize on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship's Opening Ceremony. The Salesmanship Club of Dallas announced Lopez as its honoree last week for the PGA Tour event that is named after the late Byron Nelson. "We are proud to have the opportunity to honor a woman who has done so much on and off the golf course," said Steve Barley, president of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas. "Throughout her Hall of Fame career, Nancy displayed the competitive fire of a true champion, all while maintaining focus on her family life and her work off the golf course. Nancy was integral in shaping the LPGA Tour into what it has become today, and the work she is doing within her community now is inspiring."
The Byron Nelson Prize, underwritten by philanthropist T. Boone Pickens and friends, is awarded to a person in the golf world who embodies the same philanthropic spirit for which Nelson was known. A nominating committee comprised of leaders in the golf industry, golf media and previous Prize recipients submits candidates each year and the final selection is made by a committee of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas.
Each year the Salesmanship Club makes a $100,000 contribution to the charity of the Prize recipient's choice. Lopez has chosen AIM for the Handicapped to receive the charitable contribution. Located in Dayton, Ohio, AIM for the Handicapped helps those who are mentally challenged, visually impaired, hearing impaired, physically handicapped, and those with emotional, behavioral and learning disorders.
Previous winners of the Byron Nelson Prize include: Tom Lehman (2007), Ken Venturi (2008), Arnold Palmer (2009), Tom Watson (2010) and Deane Beman (2011).